Beer – it used to be so simple. And very occasionally women drank it. 30 years ago if a man and woman sat at a bar (a bar that welcomed women) and ordered drinks the man would have a beer and the woman, white wine. Coffee was a choice of coffee or cappuccino. Sushi was almost unheard of in Cape Town. There was a choice of maybe 3 pizza places in Cape Town and whisky – yes, one had a choice of 4 or 5.
So the times did, as promised, do its changing and thank heavens for that. While things aren’t as simple we have much more choice and far better quality, in everything. There is an array of superb quality coffee shops, whiskies, sushi restaurants, practically everything food and drink related has improved exponentially over the past few years.
This rise was started, I’d like to think, by my generation, brought up on a diet of 80’s music but the youth must be credited for keeping things going. The youngsters aren’t help back by convention and are willing to experiment, bartenders gave become mixologists, a barista now serves you coffee and so it goes on.
Which brings me to a few things: Beer and apology. You see, way back when, on Monday the 17th March, a time when the skies were clear and the Cape Town evening was warm I went to a beer and food pairing evening at the Beerhouse, Long Street, at the invitation of Murray Slater, the GM. I was part of a group of bloggers (anybody got any ideas about a collective noun for bloggers?) including Chris von Ulmenstein (whose blog you can read for the real detail about the evening and to which I have referred for some info as my notes have vanished).
I promised I’d write something, but due to circumstances – I lost my notes; whisky work took me to Uganda, I was struck down for a lengthy period by this evil flu; I am focused more on my Reiki classes than writing or you can just say general laziness – I’m only doing this now.
Ag ja well you know, I can’t really add much to Chris’ post so I’ll focus on Beerhouse and how lucky we are in Cape Town to have such a place to visit.
Craft Beer survived and now thrives because of the passion and knowledge of the brewers and the entrepreneurial spirit of those establishments and the public that began to step out of the comfort zone of the regular – I’ll have a Castle, please – mindset to try something new. The big players such as SAB have also helped by putting some money behind beer festivals to grow the beer category. They believe, correctly, that by growing the beer category, they’ll sell more beer, and if their competitors sell more, well, that’s ok.
The first thing you’ll notice at the Beerhouse is, of course, the beer. And then there is the menu with over 100 beers on offer. But the most important thing and what makes the Beerhouse so special is the staff – knowledge, passion, professionalism, pride. They’ll happily guide you through the menu and share their enthusiasm.
Beerhouse has got that warm pub feeling, like a comfortable pair of jeans, but with the added bonus of a superb food offering and of course with the World Cup on and the specials they have…what more motivation does one need.
For a still amateur beer drinker (yes, I’m learning, as I suppose we all are) I quite like the fact that I can be guided through the flavours and styles. I can hold my own with whisky and wine but I need help with beer.
Now, to check the schedule and pick a game or two to watch at Beerhouse on Long, with beers, food and mates for company…